The health club market continues to become more saturated every year. While more and more clubs are popping up, facilities haven’t seen the same uptick in club memberships. So the question remains: How can gym owners increase membership sales? Here are four steps to do just that:
1. Always advertise with an expiration date or a limited number of memberships.
It’s important to create external urgency with any discount or promotion a gym provides. An easy way to implement this is by putting an expiration date on the offer, or limiting it to say “75 memberships are available on a first come, first serve basis,” for example.
2. Promote a unique selling point (USP).
What makes a business stand out against its competition? Sales always comes down to one question: Does the value outweigh the cost? Once it does, sales becomes easy. Does a gym have the latest technology, such as heart rate training? Is there a gap in the market that will create a USP for the facility? A great example in the fitness industry is Orangetheory, who has risen above 1,000 locations without closing a single club, all by using heart rate technology as a USP.
3. Hold member challenges and leverage social media.
People love challenges because it provides them with a reason to workout. Friendly competition creates the external motivation members need to get workouts done. Many club operators have found it effective to run four to six-week-long challenges with their members, gamifying the workout experience.
Operators can even offer challenge prizes involving something they are looking to promote further, such as 30 free days of team training or two free personal training sessions. It is also important for operators to post the challenge winners on their social media channels, as well as encourage their members to post their workouts via social media throughout the duration of the challenge, and tag the gym. This is a great way for club operators to show their online community that they make working out fun and engaging.
4. Have referral prizes and upsell current members.
Any gym owner knows the easiest sales are referrals, so it’s important to leverage all current members’ networks, both professional and personal. It’s been proven that the chance to win a big prize motivates people more than a guaranteed small prize, so it is effective for club operators to encourage friendly competition and add some fun into their facility by offering a raffle prize each month to all members who refer a friend to the facility. Don’t forget to advertise the promotion throughout the club using lottery mechanics to motivate members. Also, it’s important to remember to always upsell members into higher yielding memberships, such as team training and personal training, by letting them test the water with free classes or sessions.
Establishing a well-known name and standing out against competition within this industry is never easy. But with positive effort and the right tactics, any club owner can leverage their facility, increase sales and help their members thrive.